For Ohjodi

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floridacatlover
Posts: 3083
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:21 am

For Ohjodi

Post by floridacatlover »

Jodi,

I want to recommend a NYT column I read this morning by Nicholas Kristof. Today his column is on inequality but he references and links his previous column about a banking episode. I thought of you immediately because of your banking work. I seem to recall it was US Bank but maybe not.

In a nutshell, a struggling man deposited his paycheck at US Bank on Christmas Eve and was then told there was a hold on the check. Business check not a personal check. Finally someone said some of the money would be released soon and he left the bank. He waited at the gas station for his debit card to work but it kept getting denied. He called the bank call center and a young woman found that the man was told in error that funds would be available and the hold remained. The call center woman knew this man was distraught and asked her supervisor if she could meet the man on her break and give him $20 from her own pocket. Supervisor said Yes.

What happened? Both the bank call center employee and her supervisor were fired because this was against company policy. Kindness meant nothing.

Kristof tried to reach the CEO of US Bank but he declined - until the column ran last week and now he is contrite. Employees are talking with the bank about getting their jobs back.

I don’t seem to be able to post a link without publicly revealing my NYT account so if you are interested, go to the NYT homepage, click on Kristof’s column and here is a link to his previous column.

clemencia2us
Posts: 4441
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:21 am

Re: For Ohjodi

Post by clemencia2us »

I read that and it was a sad story

clemencia2us
Posts: 4441
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:21 am

Re: For Ohjodi

Post by clemencia2us »

I wonder if this is why so many businesses now pay their employees with debit cards

Banks like to see an established record.

floridacatlover
Posts: 3083
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:21 am

Re: For Ohjodi

Post by floridacatlover »

clemencia2us wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:20 pm
I wonder if this is why so many businesses now pay their employees with debit cards

Banks like to see an established record.
Maybe so. I had heard that some (or maybe many) companies now pay employees with debit cards.

If Jodi reads this, I’ll be curious to hear what her bank’s policy was on business checks and holds. I can understand holds on personal checks drawn on another bank. Of course her experience is now several years old.

But the thing that got me (and Nicholas Kristof) was to fire these employees? Sheesh!

ohjodi
Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:57 pm

Re: For Ohjodi

Post by ohjodi »

Yes, I read that story last week. I so was tempted to respond to the article in the comments section, but honestly I didn't want to spend time explaining my opinion because it would be long, LOL

BUT SINCE YOU ASKED!!! LOL

And, yes, I agree with firing her. She had direct personal contact with a customer, and left the premises during her work day. Her manager was wrong to allow her to do so, and I believe he/she was also fired, which I also agree with. These types of calls happened ALL THE TIME, and aside from security, safety, and insurance issues, if the bank let employees leave to go give money to customers all the time, the call centers would be understaffed, LOL Also, even though she was "off the clock", if she were injured in any way, such as a car accident or tripping over a curb and breaking her foot, she would be claiming workmans' comp, filing medical claims, or could even sue the bank...even if she didn't win a lawsuit, the bank certainly would not want to deal with it. AND if she injured someone else, by causing a car accident or hitting someone, for example, a lawsuit could have been huge and last for years.

As many of you know, I worked at a bank call center for four years.....the exact same job she had. I had many, MANY calls from customers who were in similar jams, the saddest of which were elderly people with no money for groceries.

What she should have done, is make sure his debit card is opted-in to overdrafting. This means you want your debit card to be approved even if there isn't enough in your account.

WHAT!?!!??

YES. Then have the customer select "pay inside" at the gas pump, pump his gas, go inside to pay, but use his debit card.....PROCESSED AS "CREDIT". When you choose "credit" there is NO OVERDRAFT FEE if it overdraws your account. This is because "credit" is a "guaranteed payment" to the merchant. And why that doesn't get an overdraft fee I don't exactly recall, LOL That policy applied to all banks, not just mine. Perhaps that has changed in the six years since I left the bank, I don't know.

Either way, I would have checked the customer's account for the next couple of days, to see if there actually was a fee, and then I would have refunded it. If the customer did not have a history of excessive overdrafts, it would have been allowed. And given the circumstances, It would have been allowed, anyway, as a courtesy.

I could have also looked for previous overdraft fees, or atm or statement fees, and refunded some of those, depending. That would have returned money to his account immediately, and he could buy his gas.

If the employee did not know that this could be done, her manager absolutely should have known, and advised her to do so. This is exactly how I first learned to do it.

I believe there is more to this story............this could have been a brand-new checking account, where banks do reserve the right to hold checks for up to ten days, to prevent fraud. We don't know who his new employer was. If it was a brand new business, or if it had a history of bouncing payroll checks, THAT bank could have been holding up the money.

I had a customer call me one night, very upset because it was a week before her Social Security money came in, and she had no money in her account. She desperately needed groceries and dog food. It was overdrawn. She would always withdraw money from the ATM at her grocery store about twice per week. It was our ATM, so she never got fees. HOWEVER, a few months before she called me, that ATM was replaced by another bank, so she was getting $3 fees, both from the new bank, AND from us because it wasn't "our" ATM, anymore. She did not notice that it was a different bank. Each time she withdrew any money, she was charged $6, and didn't know it. Since her balance was much lower than she thought, a check she had recently written had overdrawn, and we charged her a $30 overdraft fee. I refunded all of our $3 fees, plus the $30 overdraft fee, immediately putting about $100 back into her account. I also told her that she could buy groceries with that debit card, and get cash back from the cashier, so she could avoid using that ATM. She didn't know she could even use a debit card for purchases, she thought it was just an ATM card. I told her the locations of the our two other closest ATM machines. She also did not know that our local bank branch was open on Saturdays.

I realize that yes, she should have been checking her bank statements, or calling us regularly to go over her transactions......but I learned while talking to customers that many people are simply overwhelmed by paperwork that we assume is simple. Especially the elderly, or people who seemed to me to have some mental disability. Medications can also make things difficult for people. Some people are just intimidated by talking on the phone with banks, utilities, doctors, etc, so they avoid doing it. She was very anxious when she called me, and kept apologizing for "bothering me".

If her issue hadn't been the unknown fees, I would have told her to do what the guy who needed gas should have done.....opt in to over-drafting the debit card, and choose "credit" at the register.

So that's my opinion!
ohjodi

clemencia2us
Posts: 4441
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:21 am

Re: For Ohjodi

Post by clemencia2us »

I wondered if liability issues would have been considered.

What if the person attacked her or something

Life can be difficult.

And since I have started my page for my town - the stories I hear.

Right now one young lady is upset becasue she needs to find new housing. Someone mentioned public housing. Well her hubby lost his birth certificate and SS card, so they won't take their application. Hello you can get those replaced. I let her know how to do it, but I doubt that is the reason they housing won't help.

Since she is a distant relative, I know they are drug addicts. Housing knows this also - so - nope no housing for you

Another person complained and said housing had too many rules

Hello - you were in jail for child molestion. Wait not jail - prison. So no - they don't want you around either.

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